Why I won't delete my Facebook

The last few days have been rough. Really rough. I had a lot of discussions with alt-righters and alt-right apologists, about if the left are just as bad and dangerous as the alt right and so on. The last few days have been frustrating and demanding and have cost me an awful lot of enegery. My blood pressure is propably way beyond a healthy level right now and there have been moments where I really wanted to break down in tears due to all the frustration. All of those discussions were held on Facebook, in various comment sections. There was the one in the comment section of a statement a local goth club made after being called out for firing DJs and bar staff for being openly antifascist (as in, against nazis, not more not less), quote: "We're against all kinds of extremism." as if being against literal nazis is that much of a radical idea. There was the one in the comment section of a newspaper article about the commemoration of the bombing of Dresden in World War II which the alt right used to talk about everything but the bombing of Dresden in World War II (namely, they talked about refugees and Angela Merkel, both have nothing to do with World War II), got blocked with a sit-in by the left counter demonstrators who they then beat up also using pepper spray while the police turned a blind eye and even encouraged their violence. And there are all the different smaller discussions I keep having. Throughout the past days, my fiance suggested that I should consider deleting my Facebook because clearly, it is something that hurts, exhausts and stresses me. He does have a point there, if I deleted my Facebook (or at least stopped going to those comment sections or even just stopped participating in them), I would be way less stressed and not constantly angry, upset, in a horrible mood. Here is why I will stay on Facebook, keep going to those comment sections and keep discussing:

1. Discussing with the alt-right shows them that not everyone is on their side.

Sometimes it is as simple as that: Those comment sections basically belong to the alt right and their supporters nowadays. I know what to expect when I go there and that I will be disgusted by their ignorance, inhumanity and hate. They feel like when there's no one interfering with their comments, they're right, especially since they are so many that the opposite happens, they keep agreeing each other. Discussing with them shows them that not everyone is agreeing.

2. Discussing with the alt-right shows minorities that someone is on their side.

No, I don't think all the energy I put in discussions like that make a change in alt-right peoples minds. It's very unlikely I can make them question their own stances. However, people who are targeted by the alt-right might feel better if racist/homophobic/transphobic/sexist/etc. comments are interfered with. People who are targeted by them and people who think alike will not feel alone not thinking like the alt-right. Which leads us right to the next point.

3. Discussing with the alt-right might influence the opinions of people who have not "chosen a side" yet.

Especially young people may not have an opinion on many political topics yet and they may learn stuff and get to know different viewpoints from reading discussions like this. If they only get to see the racist rethoric, they might just take it as a given, no one is disagreeing so it must be right. By having discussions on social media, we help undecided peope get more than one viewpoint and different approaches to toppics to build their own opinions from.

4. Discussing with the alt-right... simply because someone has to. 

Someone has to fight, for all the reasons above and more. Now you might wonder why I specifically have to, since it obviously hurts me. The answer to that is as sad as it is simple: Who if not me? In both discussions I wrote about in the beginning of this post, I was the only one discussing against the alt-right. Sure, people liked my comments which signals approval, and that does help me a bit to not feel alone and unheard, but it would have helped a lot more to know that if I lost all energy to discuss, someone else would take over. Or someone giving arguments I don't think of in the moment or can't give because I don't know things they know. Or simply someone supporting me in this fight. This is supposed to be a team effort, and I felt very alone in the past few days discussing with several people simultaneously all on my own.Which is innitially a reason why I feel like I have to keep going.

So I won't delete my Facebook, I will keep going to comment sections and interfere with their filterbubble. I really hope that this post might motivate some of you reading this to actively participate in discussions more. When we give up because of demotivation, exhaustion or whatever, they have won. If we are many, we can take turns so others can take breaks. Stay active, peeps.


Question your authorities

Let me start with explaining the viewpoint I am writing this from to you. I am privileged. I am white, I am European, I am able-bodied, and I am female (which does comes in handy when you are in a case other than sexualized violence against you). Also, I have never comitted a crime. Still, I have a personal problem with the police. I reported crimes three times in my life, and every time I felt belittled and not taken seriously. Now I can deal with that in the case where someone took the money I forgot in the ATM (which is, in my opinion, not even necessarily a crime, just not the nicest thing to do especially when the one who actually owns it is poor). I can not deal with that in the case where a random guy punched me in the face in the middle of the street because I was just walking past. No, officer, you can't see anything, but you couldn't see internal bleeding either and that would still be really bad, right? So I have been the victim, the reporting person most of the time when I dealt with police and was truly disappointed. Then there was that one time last year when I went to a protest. Going to a protest is something that takes a lot of willpower for me. I am hella scared of protests because I have been knowing people all my life who went and came back with injuries. We are talking anti-nazi protests - some where caused by the nazis, some where caused by the left who though it was really clever to throw stuff from a distance where they would only hit their own people, and some injuries were from the cops. I guess we all remember the protests against the G20 summit in Hamburg in Summer 2017 where shit went loose. Cars burning, people throwing bottles, none of this is okay. However, what is even less okay is police violently attacking peaceful protesters. You know, the ones who didn't throw bottles or set cars on fire. The majority. That shit happened, and while people who threw bottles and hurt no one with them get 3 years in jail, there are apparently no consequences for the cops. That is the main reason I have to gather all my strenght, hype myself up with angry music and gather a group of friends around me to even go to protests. Now when I went to the protest, I went peacefully. I am too scared to be violent. I could never physically attack a person simply because I am afraid of them hitting me back. Fear makes me a pretty peaceful person. So I went there, walked, showed my face, shouted my opinion, all within the law. I was exercising my right to protest. I was exercising my duty to protest against nazis. We all were. Suddenly, someone yelled "Run!" and when I turned around I saw a group of heavily armoured cops running towards us and they did not look like they'd stop. So I turned back around and ran away, didn't get far because I am clumsy, instead I tripped and fell down... and did not get up again on my own. Just accepted my fate and that I would propably die here trampled to death by the police for literally doing nothing wrong. Instead, my friends picked me up and I did not die, only got a few bruises and abrasions.
So overall, I have never been the perpetrator, never actually got in trouble with the police, and I still do not feel like I could trust them at all. Serve and protect is a lie to me. And I am lucky. I am privileged.
Now yesterday I saw the video of 18-years-old Bethany Nava getting pulled off the train by a police officer and eventually getting arrested. It all started with her having her feet up on the seat in the train. Not really that big of a deal. Now of course that got people discussing wether or not the cop overreacted. A lot of people believe that she should just have put her feet down and everything would have been alright. Here starts the thing: In the video, we can't see wether or not she didn't do that, naturally because people do not start filming when there is merely a conversation. Nava herself says she put her feet down immediately and in her story, it doesn't really sound like even getting her off the train was reasonable. However, even if I was to play devils advocate and not believe her story and assume that she did in fact not do what the cop asked her to do, arresting her including getting her handcuffed is too much in my opinion and getting her off the train would have been perfectly enough as a consequence. That Selena Lechuga, who came to Navas aid, was arrested too, is completely off the table in means of being ok. That's the last thing I will discuss.
The thing is, I am kind of okay with people discussing wether or not it was reasonable to arrest them. What I am not okay with is that the argument used most is something along the line of "he's a cop, he has every right to arrest her, it's the law". I hate that so many people just let cops do whatever they want because they have a badge. I hate that so many people just accept laws as they are. I hate that neither cops nor laws are questioned very often.
Cops are people. After all, they are humans like all of us, only that they wear uniforms, badges, batons, tasers and guns. Since they are humans, they can make mistakes. They are not infallible. It's important to keep that in mind. More importantly though, since they are human, they are not incapable of abusing their authority and position of power. And since they do have that authority and position of power, and because they carry weapons, they should be held up to higher standards than civilists, because their mistakes, their wrongs can end a lot worse more often than the ones civilists make. And when a cop makes a mistake, that is even more important, they should be held accountable for them. That's the biggest problem here.
Now after sharing that video, I had a (very peaceful, factual) discussion with a facebook friend of mine about it. They believe that, since Nava filed a claim against that cop, there will be justice according to what the law is regarding this case - if he did something wrong, he will be held accountable, if not, he won't. The thing is, laws are made and executed by people too. People, humans, who are, again, not incapable of doing wrong. Of misjudging a situation. Or, even worse, are not incapable of abusing their authority and position of power to make and execute laws as they please. Laws are not infallible too.
There are two things I want to use specifically to emphasize my point:
1. Homosexuality was forbidden by law in Germany until 1994. That's the year I was born. That is not at all long ago. That is not ancient history. Someone made that law because they thought homosexuality was bad. No one changed that law until 1994 because they didn't think it was important. People could have been persecuted for homosexuality in Germany until 1994. They were not, because while it was still the law no one executed it. Because they questioned it and found it was stupid. However, it wasn't important enough until 23 years ago to scrap it - and if there were homophobic cops and judges, people still could have been persecuted for being gay. Would people still say it would be ok because it was the law and therefore it must be right?
2. In the age of smart phones (including cameras), it is very easy to film incidences. This is what happened here, and there is alot of proof in that video that may help to tell wether or not this officer was in the right or wrong and, if the later, get him held accountable. But we all remember Eric Garner. You know, Eric Garner, who got killed by cops? Who was arrested for the mere speculation that he might illegaly sell cigarettes? Who actually was the good guy in this situation because he stepped in and ended a fight? Who was killed because the cops arresting him for nothing used an illegal chokehold? That incident was on camera too. Someone died, someone else filmed it, we have all the proof we need and the law is on Eric Garners side. The cop who killed him walked free. Instead, you know who got persecuted? The guy who filmed it. The guy who delivered the proof that didn't do shit. When cops aren't held accountable for killing someone with an illegal chokehold, why should one trust that they will be held accountable for doing less?
We have no reason to blindly trust police officers. We have no reason to blindly trust laws. Instead, we have a duty to always question them to prevent what stands at the end of the row - a police state, a dictatorship even. Sounds dramatic, but this is what we are risking if we keep doing this. Question your authorities, kids. Who if not us?